Reflections on Regionalism

Brookings Institution Press
1
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Academics, community activists, and politicians have rediscovered regionalism, insisting that regions are critical functional units in a world-wide economy and, just as important, critical functional units in individual American lives. More and more of us travel across city, county, even state borders every morning on our way to work. Our television, radio, and print media rely on a regional marketplace. Our businesses, large and small, depend on suppliers, workers, and customers who rarely reside in a single jurisdiction. The parks, riverfronts, stadiums, and museums we visit draw from, and provide an identity to, an area much larger than a single city. The fumes, gases, chemicals, and run-off that pollute our air and water have no regard for municipal boundaries.

This book lays out a variety of opinions on regionalism, its history and its future. While the essays do not comprise a debate, pro and con, about regionalism, they do provide a wide array of perspectives, based on the authors' diverse backgrounds and experience. Some contributors have made close academic studies of how regional action occurs, in various states like Minnesota, California, and Oregon; others give an historical account of a particular region like that surrounding New York City; and yet others point out aspects of regionalism--race, especially-- that should not be ignored.

Why did past efforts at regional collaboration fall apart? What did regionalist efforts of decades ago leave undone, and what new goals should regionalists set? Without an understanding of these questions, policymakers and advocates may find themselves "reinventing the region." This book provides an important understanding of how regionalism has played out in the past, how policies shape places, and the possibilities and limits of regional action.

Bruce J. Katz, director of the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, was formerly chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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About the author

Bruce Katz is vice president, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, and Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institution. Al Gore was the 45th Vice President of the United States.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Sep 19, 2001
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780815723561
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Urban & Regional
Political Science / Public Policy / Regional Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won't, or can't, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders – mayors, business and labor leaders, educators, and philanthropists – are stepping up and powering the nation forward. These state and local leaders are doing the hard work to grow more jobs and make their communities more prosperous, and they're investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority, and equipping workers with the skills they need.

In The Metropolitan Revolution, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley highlight success stories and the people behind them.

· New York City: Efforts are under way to diversify the city's vast economy

· Portland: Is selling the  "sustainability" solutions it has perfected to other cities around the world

· Northeast Ohio: Groups are using industrial-age skills to invent new twenty-first-century materials, tools, and processes

· Houston: Modern settlement house helps immigrants climb the employment ladder

· Miami: Innovators are forging strong ties with Brazil and other nations

· Denver and Los Angeles: Leaders are breaking political barriers and building world-class metropolises

· Boston and Detroit: Innovation districts are hatching ideas to power these economies for the next century

The lessons in this book can help other cities meet their challenges. Change is happening, and every community in the country can benefit. Change happens where we live, and if leaders won't do it, citizens should demand it.

The Metropolitan Revolution was the 2013 Foreword Reviews Bronze winner for Political Science.

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster—and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today

When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.

At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.

Since the early 1990s, federal transportation laws have slowly started to level the playing field between highway and alternative transportation strategies, as well as between older and newer communities. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made substantial changes in transportation practices. These laws devolved greater responsibility for planning and implementation to urban development organizations and introduced more flexibility in the spending of federal highway and transit funds. They also created a series of special programs to carry out important national objectives, and they tightened the linkages between transportation spending and issues such as metropolitan air quality. Taking the High Road examines the most pressing transportation challenges facing American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. The authors focus on the central issues in the ongoing debate and deliberations about the nation's transportation policy. They go beyond the federal debate, however, to lay out an agenda for reform that responds directly to those responsible for putting these policies into practice—leaders at the state, metropolitan, and local levels. This book presents public officials with options for reform. Hoping to build upon the progress and momentum of earlier transportation laws, it ensures a better understanding of the problems and provides policymakers, journalists, and the public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed. Topics include • A wide-ranging policy framework that addresses the reauthorization debate • An examination of transportation finance and how it affects cities and suburbs • An analysis of metropolitan decisionmaking in transportation • The challenges of transportation access for working families and the elderly • The problems of increasing traffic congestion and the lack of adequate alternatives Contributors include Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), Edward Biemborn (University of Wisconsin), Evelyn Blumenberg (UCLA), John Brennan (Cleveland State University), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Billie K. Geyer (Cleveland State), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State), Arnold Howitt (Harvard University), Kevin E. O'Brien (Cleveland State), Ryan Prince (Brookings), Claudette Robey (Cleveland State), Sandra Rosenbloom (University of Arizona), Thomas Sanchez (Virginia Tech), Martin Wachs (University of California, Berkeley), and Margy Waller (Brookings).
A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can—and do—make us happier people

Charles Montgomery's Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.

After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?

The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamic

cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.

Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.

Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won't, or can't, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders – mayors, business and labor leaders, educators, and philanthropists – are stepping up and powering the nation forward. These state and local leaders are doing the hard work to grow more jobs and make their communities more prosperous, and they're investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority, and equipping workers with the skills they need.

In The Metropolitan Revolution, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley highlight success stories and the people behind them.

· New York City: Efforts are under way to diversify the city's vast economy

· Portland: Is selling the  "sustainability" solutions it has perfected to other cities around the world

· Northeast Ohio: Groups are using industrial-age skills to invent new twenty-first-century materials, tools, and processes

· Houston: Modern settlement house helps immigrants climb the employment ladder

· Miami: Innovators are forging strong ties with Brazil and other nations

· Denver and Los Angeles: Leaders are breaking political barriers and building world-class metropolises

· Boston and Detroit: Innovation districts are hatching ideas to power these economies for the next century

The lessons in this book can help other cities meet their challenges. Change is happening, and every community in the country can benefit. Change happens where we live, and if leaders won't do it, citizens should demand it.

The Metropolitan Revolution was the 2013 Foreword Reviews Bronze winner for Political Science.

The New Localism provides a roadmap for change that starts in the communities where most people live and work.

In their new book, The New Localism, urban experts Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Power is shifting in the world: downward from national governments and states to cities and metropolitan communities; horizontally from the public sector to networks of public, private and civic actors; and globally along circuits of capital, trade, and innovation.

This new locus of power—this new localism—is emerging by necessity to solve the grand challenges characteristic of modern societies: economic competitiveness, social inclusion and opportunity; a renewed public life; the challenge of diversity; and the imperative of environmental sustainability. Where rising populism on the right and the left exploits the grievances of those left behind in the global economy, new localism has developed as a mechanism to address them head on.

New localism is not a replacement for the vital roles federal governments play; it is the ideal complement to an effective federal government, and, currently, an urgently needed remedy for national dysfunction.

In The New Localism, Katz and Nowak tell the stories of the cities that are on the vanguard of problem solving. Pittsburgh is catalyzing inclusive growth by inventing and deploying new industries and technologies. Indianapolis is governing its city and metropolis through a network of public, private and civic leaders. Copenhagen is using publicly owned assets like their waterfront to spur large scale redevelopment and finance infrastructure from land sales.

Out of these stories emerge new norms of growth, governance, and finance and a path toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive society. Katz and Nowak imagine a world in which urban institutions finance the future through smart investments in innovation, infrastructure and children and urban intermediaries take solutions created in one city and adapt and tailor them to other cities with speed and precision.

As Katz and Nowak show us in The New Localism, “Power now belongs to the problem solvers.”

Since the early 1990s, federal transportation laws have slowly started to level the playing field between highway and alternative transportation strategies, as well as between older and newer communities. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made substantial changes in transportation practices. These laws devolved greater responsibility for planning and implementation to urban development organizations and introduced more flexibility in the spending of federal highway and transit funds. They also created a series of special programs to carry out important national objectives, and they tightened the linkages between transportation spending and issues such as metropolitan air quality. Taking the High Road examines the most pressing transportation challenges facing American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. The authors focus on the central issues in the ongoing debate and deliberations about the nation's transportation policy. They go beyond the federal debate, however, to lay out an agenda for reform that responds directly to those responsible for putting these policies into practice—leaders at the state, metropolitan, and local levels. This book presents public officials with options for reform. Hoping to build upon the progress and momentum of earlier transportation laws, it ensures a better understanding of the problems and provides policymakers, journalists, and the public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed. Topics include • A wide-ranging policy framework that addresses the reauthorization debate • An examination of transportation finance and how it affects cities and suburbs • An analysis of metropolitan decisionmaking in transportation • The challenges of transportation access for working families and the elderly • The problems of increasing traffic congestion and the lack of adequate alternatives Contributors include Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), Edward Biemborn (University of Wisconsin), Evelyn Blumenberg (UCLA), John Brennan (Cleveland State University), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Billie K. Geyer (Cleveland State), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State), Arnold Howitt (Harvard University), Kevin E. O'Brien (Cleveland State), Ryan Prince (Brookings), Claudette Robey (Cleveland State), Sandra Rosenbloom (University of Arizona), Thomas Sanchez (Virginia Tech), Martin Wachs (University of California, Berkeley), and Margy Waller (Brookings).
Results from Census 2000 have confirmed that American cities and metropolitan areas lie at the heart of the nation's most pronounced demographic and economic changes. The third volume in the Redefining Urban and Suburban America series describes anew the changing shape of metropolitan American and the consequences for policies in areas such as employment, public services, and urban revitalization. The continued decentralization of population and economic activity in most metropolitan areas has transformed once-suburban places into new engines of metropolitan growth. At the same time, some traditional central cities have enjoyed a population renaissance, thanks to a recent book in "living" downtowns. The contributors to this book probe the rise of these new growth centers and their impacts on the metropolitan landscape, including how recent patterns have affected the government's own methods for reporting information on urban, suburban, and rural areas. Volume 3 also provides a closer look at the social and economic impacts of growth patterns in cities and suburbs. Contributors examine how suburbanization has affected access to employment for minorities and lower-income workers, how housing development trends have fueled population declines in some central cities, and how these patterns are shifting the economic balance between older and newer suburbs. Contributors include Thomas Bier (Cleveland State University), Peter Dreier (Occidental College), William Frey (Brookings), Robert Lang (Virginia Tech), Steven Raphael (University of California, Berkeley), Audrey Singer (Brookings), Michael Stoll (University of California, Los Angeles), Todd Swanstrom (St. Louis University), and Jill Wilson (Brookings).
Results from Census 2000 continue to reveal the striking changes taking place in the nation's cities and suburbs during the 1990s. Thanks to a decade of strong economic growth, concentrated poverty in inner cities declined dramatically, homeownership rose among young minority households, and workers from abroad settled in growing metropolitan areas that had experienced little immigration to date. This second volume in the Redefining Urban and Suburban America series makes clear, however, that regional differences add texture to these broader social and economic trends. Using data from the Census "long form," the contributors to this book probe migration, income and poverty, and housing trends in the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas. Economically, the fast-growing Sunbelt and the Midwest performed well in the 1990s, enjoying declining poverty rates, rising homeownership, and the evolution of a solid middle-class population. Cities like San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, and Columbus saw stunning declines in high-poverty neighborhoods. The story was more mixed in the coastal areas of the Northeast and West, where poverty rates rose in cities such as Boston, New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. On net, their metro areas lost residents to other parts of the United States, even as they gained workers and families from abroad. This volume provides a closer look at the unprecedented social and economic changes taking place in the nation's oldest and newest communities, and explores the implications for a diverse set of policy areas, including metropolitan development patterns, immigrant incorporation, and the promotion of affordable housing and homeownership.
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